Last night I went outside and said goodbye to my basil. In an impromptu ritual in the crisp air and dropping temperature I found myself almost caressing it. Telling it the winter is coming. Sprinkling some of the ripe seeds hoping they will lie dormant and grow me more fabulous purple basil next year.
I have this tendency toward the slightly morbid. And overly dramatic. (Ask my mom.)
I also always identify with what is hurt or dying. Watching nature documentaries completely overloads my adrenals.
But the truth is we can focus on the loss of life or on the change.
From the perspective of the soil this is feast time.
All those nutrients that trees have drawn up must now shower down.
And then there is rest.
Embedded in the shift of seasons is an invitation to observe deeply.
This is a time of taking stock and stripping away nonessentials.
So avert your gaze from the insanity of the marketplace for a while to watch the quiet unfolding of the season.
This practice has a name. Phenology.
It reminds me of a lesson I learned years ago when right out of college I worked as a case-manager for homeless women and children at an amazing nonprofit.
I was gearing up to leave for the Peace Corps and a colleague said she had been tempted to do that but then realized she wanted instead to stay in Bloomington, Indiana and invest deeply in the wisdom of the vibrant community of activists where we worked. I always remembered that conversation. I guess because we were each so peaceful, so secure in our next step toward learning what we were called to learn.
Go around the world or sink deeply into your spot. (Or do a little bit of both!) Observe. You can awaken to the same lessons.
Love to you this day.
PS If you want to read some of my favorite travel blogs including my recent trip to Mexico you will find those here and here.
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at email@example.com.
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